From Ship to Shore: A Cultural Geography of Seafarers
Free Public Lecture
221 Bouverie Street
T: (03) 9035 9781
This lecture explores the cultural geography of maritime life, focusing on the changing relationships between ships, seafarers and shores.
Sea mobilities have always connected people, places and things and the volume of goods conveyed by sea is ever-increasing. However, the maritime transportation of goods is rapidly changing with increasing ship size, mechanisation and containerisation. Subsequently geographies of seafaring are also transforming: ships require fewer crew, seafarers spend extended periods of time at sea and opportunities for shore leave are significantly reduced. Piracy, shipwreck and abandonment are just a few of the problems merchant seafarers face. Separated from their friends and families for many months, with little access to communications at sea, they can also experience loneliness and isolation. And, while working long hours is part of life at sea, it often leads to fatigue and exhaustion.
This seminar reveals how these changing cultures and experiences of seafaring are transforming the relationships that seafarers have with each other and with people and places in port cities. It further illuminates the historical and contemporary role of the Mission to Seafarers, who support seafaring communities in all major ports, in facilitating these encounters.